A Photographer in Shanghai: The Americans

The war between China and Japan that broke out in 1937 was a modern media war involving the international press as an actor in the game for public opinion. This was especially the case in the early stages of the war, when it was waged over cities along the Chinese east coast easily reached by foreign journalists. Both sides of the conflict were eager to present their side of the story to the world and usually granted western correspondents extensive access.

One of the most prolific foreign photographers during the three-month battle for Shanghai in 1937 was American-born Malcolm Rosholt. His images show clearly that he was a frequent visitor to both sides of the frontline. But he also took photos of the neutrals, including the American “China Marines” sent to protect US interests in the huge, bustling city.

This article reproduces a small selection of Rosholt’s huge output of photos. They are brought with the kind permission of Historical Photographs of China, a project based at the University of Bristol. All photos are courtesy of Historical Photographs of China, Mei-fei Elrick and Tess Johnson.

China Marines setting up a Browning heavy machine gun

 

ros8

 

ros9

 

American guard, St. John's University, Shanghai

American guard, St. John’s University, Shanghai

 

USS Augusta in Shanghai

USS Augusta in Shanghai

 

USS Augusta, with tender and crew

USS Augusta, with tender and crew

 

USS Augusta, Shanghai

 

Admiral Harry Ervin Yarnell comes ashore from USS Augusta, Shanghai

Admiral Harry Ervin Yarnell comes ashore from USS Augusta, Shanghai

 

Admiral Harry Ervin Yarnell, Customs Jetty, Shanghai

Admiral Harry Ervin Yarnell, Customs Jetty, Shanghai

Categories: Media, War

1 Comment

  • George Kulstad says:

    The “American guard, St. John’s University, Shanghai” is probably part of the American Company, Shanghai Volunteer Corps. Notice that his uniform consists of shorts, and leggings, whereas the American Marines in the preceding 4 photos are wearing long trousers. Any different interpretation?

Leave a Reply